An invitation to a very unusual wedding

@boiboing (12533)
Northampton, England
April 16, 2016 9:18am CST
My husband came home from work with a wedding invitation - well sort of. Technically I'm not 100% sure about the legal status but let's call it a wedding. This is very unusual. Hubby doesn't socialise with his work colleagues - mostly because he works at a prison. The invitation is from the 'atheist chaplain' at the prison. He has been going on (and on) about this woman for a couple of months. He's totally baffled by an atheist chaplain and has been interrogating here about what she does - or rather doesn't - believe, about who pays her and about what she actually DOES at the prison. His nosiness knows no bounds. I'm surprised she doesn't hid in a cupboard when she sees him coming. Today as he launched into another attempt to learn more, she stopped him short and said "I have something for you". And we are now invited to a pagan 'handfasting' ceremony - in effect, a pagan wedding. They will also be 'jumping the broom' - a traditional joining symbol. We are both fascinated by what other people believe so we're going to go. Keep an empty/open mind and see how it goes. It's at an ancient site about an hour from home and I'm actually quite excited.
10 people like this
10 responses
• Eugene, Oregon
16 Apr 16
Fascinating! I attended a hand-fasting ceremony about ten years ago for a young couple. It was performed by a young Wiccan woman who was a friend of the couple and was very woowoo, but touching. I have no idea if the couple is still together.
2 people like this
@teamfreak16 (32018)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
16 Apr 16
An atheist chaplain? That's a new one. I'm an atheist and I had no idea there was such a thing. Weird.
1 person likes this
@boiboing (12533)
• Northampton, England
16 Apr 16
You sound like my husband! I think the idea is that every prisoner - whether religious or not - should have access to a listening ear and a comforting person to talk to and she's able to offer that in a non-religious way.
5 people like this
@teamfreak16 (32018)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
16 Apr 16
@boiboing - What you say makes absolute sense.
1 person likes this
@boiboing (12533)
• Northampton, England
16 Apr 16
@teamfreak16 Thanks Scott - my husband just doesn't seem to get it at all. I've been in hospital a few times and when they ask you to put your religion I usually put 'any or none' - by which I mean that if I'm about to die, they can send any or none of the chaplains to mutter over my body.
2 people like this
• United States
16 Apr 16
Okay, just don't drink or eat anything while there. You never know.
1 person likes this
@boiboing (12533)
• Northampton, England
16 Apr 16
You are so funny.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Apr 16
@boiboing Thanks, but it might not be a joke. You never know.
• United States
16 Apr 16
Hum, I don't know if I'd jump on that bandwagon, but good luck and hopefully it will be ok.
1 person likes this
@boiboing (12533)
• Northampton, England
16 Apr 16
I don't think going to somebody's ceremony really constitutes jumping on a bandwagon.
2 people like this
• United States
16 Apr 16
@boiboing That was just a phrase that came to my head, poor choice of words. I meant I wouldn't go just to go, I'd have to really want to go. I've been invited to ceremony's of other religions and some I accepted and other not, I only go if I know and like the people involved.
2 people like this
• Aberdeen, Scotland
16 Apr 16
Will be interesting to hear about the wedding
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (109431)
• Switzerland
16 Apr 16
This is exciting, just be careful what they offer at the wedding buffet.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
16 Apr 16
I have been to some pagan hand-fasting celebrations. They are usually quite lovely
1 person likes this
@Asylum (45961)
• Manchester, England
16 Apr 16
That would be a very interesting experience. What I do not understand is why the prison has an Atheist Chaplain.
@boiboing (12533)
• Northampton, England
16 Apr 16
Not all inmates are religious but all inmates have problems that they need to talk through with a kind and interested person.
2 people like this
@Asylum (45961)
• Manchester, England
16 Apr 16
@boiboing I appreciate that many atheists exist, but someone to represent them does not really quality as a chaplain.
@boiboing (12533)
• Northampton, England
16 Apr 16
@Asylum It's a bit live vegetarian 'meat'.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (70644)
• United States
16 Apr 16
Well, it does sound like an educational wedding. Hope you let us know what goes on during a wedding like that!
@boiboing (12533)
• Northampton, England
16 Apr 16
I may well do that. I was just really touched that her response to him interrogating her about her ways led her to invite us to such a personal occasion.
@Jessicalynnt (48199)
• Centralia, Missouri
16 Apr 16
I would be curious to meet her myself, I wonder if being the chaplain is easier not having a god of your own, you can be more open minded, maybe.